To alleviate the challenges for mobile Eurpean Union citizens, leading public health insurance providers initated TEN4Health. Its service package assures access of citizens to healthcare in participating Member States' hospitals, based on a secure web service and its integration into developing European eHealth infrastructure networks. The package's key components include:
- information on local rules, co-payments and other aspects of healthcare for citizens in their respective language at the point and time of treatment abroad
- instantaneous online verification of insurance status for healthcare providers and assurance of cost coverage
- efficient support for fast electronic post-processing at the national level
- electronification of reimbursement procedures across Member State borders, with special attention to interoperability.
The TEN4Health service package thereby fundamentally contributes to the ubiquitous acceptance of the European Health Insurance Card and prepares for the later introduction of its eCard version. It greatly enhanced and extended its utility by integrating efficient support for electronic post-processing at the Union level. To reach these goals, close cooperation with the activities of the NETC@RDS project has been assured.
The insurance companies participating in TEN4Health sign contracts with partner hospitals abroad, initially in regions frequented by their clients when travelling for leisure. When clients, in unplanned need of treatment, go to a participating hospital, they only show their national health insurance token/EHIC. They receive information in their mother tongue, via the web-portal or a call-centre, about the conditions of treatment, their rights and obligations in the country of treatment, including regulations on co-payments. After verifying their insurance status online, they receive treatment like local residents.
The person at the administration desk of the hospital enters the unique EHIC ID number onto the system. This creates an electronic administrative record for the particular case of treatment. The validation of insurance status, either from the actual insurer, or the hosting insurer in the country of treatment, is returned instantaneously.
All further administrative information exchange, including reimbursement, are based on the electronic administrative record created and use the same web-based technical infrastructure. Staff at the hospital can enter and receive data either directly via a web-portal, or via the country-specific administration interface they use for local patients. The latter can be a web-interface, like VECOZO in the Netherlands.